Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spotlight on Starlight Pashmina Shawls and pashmina cleaning tips!

Currently reduced on our Special Offer page are the Starlight Shawls and I thought that they deserved a post of their own. This is a style of shawl that has been a favourite over a number of years, particularly if you want  a bit of glamour without the weight of  a beaded fringe or more intricate and heavy embroidery, (such as we occasionally sell as clearance items from our designer sister site ).

So here are the facts!  The Starlights are classic 70% Pashmina Cashmere & 30% Silk Shawls (size 70 x 180cms) with a hint of sparkle provided by a faceted crystal bead.  Unless we know for sure, we assume that the beads used are generic hot glue crystals, not a named variety.  If they are a named variety, we say in the description!
The Starlight Shawls featured here have the generic hot glue crystals.

The crystals are hand applied with hot glue, in a regulated diamond formation over the length of the shawl. Sometimes they group the beads more closely at either end of the shawl, but it depends on the beader.
The crystals bond strongly to the cashmere fibres when the glue becomes cold, however I recommend to take a little care when cleaning.  Dry cleaning or Hand Wash with Care are the usual instructions and  I've hand-washed my Starlight shawl with cashmere detergent in warm water and not experienced any problems. In fact, I probably prefer to be 'hands on' with the cleaning, so I know how the shawl is reacting!

 Regarding ironing,  iron on the back with a protective cloth to cushion yourself over the crystal bumps. It's always best to start with a cloth; although you might find it's not necessary when you know what your shawl can take.
If you are bold, any stubborn creases out can be got out with a direct iron from the front - there's usually room between the stones - but watch like a hawk! And always start on a low heat... you can go higher if necessary and most creases come out on a low-medium heat. You can also slightly dampen the cloth if that's your preference - common sense applies!
 NOTE: Before writing this I tested the plum starlight shown here. It ironed fine without a cloth on the back and on the front. I used a dry iron, low-medium heat. The picture below was taken pre-ironing!!!!

A note of caution about ironing - and this applies to all cashmere shawls, beaded or not -  some dyes react worse than others to heat, so it is best to protect your pashminas with a cloth.  Over the years I have become wary about paler colours - particularly those that have yellow tones (off-whites, silvers, pale pinks (like here) pale lilacs and corals) - as these can react on a low-medium heat unless protected. 

Every pashmina is an individual, that's why we love them. Until you know how your pashmina reacts, treat it cautiously.  Some can take the rougher stuff!

Starlight Shawls PD060  - the colour numbers refer to our colour chart (previously blogged). One of each available!!!

Raspberry and Rose Pink
 Bitter Chocolate, Teal and Plum
 Raspberry 46
 Rose Pink 190
Bitter Chocolate 232
 Teal 395
 Plum 245